MBS visit proves strength of bilateral, economic relationship: Imran Khan

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan said Sunday Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s visit to Pakistan is a manifestation of the strength of bilateral and economic relationship. In an interview with Jeddah based Saudi daily newspaper, he said during the visit of Crown Prince main highlight will be the signing of the MoU in respect of the oil refinery, which is Saudi Arabia’s largest investment in Pakistan’s history. The Prime Minister said in the diplomatic sphere, the two nations can join hands to effectively to mobilize the international community for amicable resolution of festering disputes such as Kashmir and Palestine. He said the two brotherly countries can also exert their influence in facilitating peace process in Afghanistan and for the strengthening of Muslim Ummah to utilize the platform of Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Responding to a question about the Houthis aggression against Saudi Arabia, the Prime Minister said Saudi Arabia is very close to our heart in every respect and Pakistan will not allow anyone to attack Saudi Arabia. He said Pakistan will always stand with Saudi Arabia whenever it faces a threat in any form to its security and sovereignty. Meanwhile, spokesperson of Finance Division, Dr. Khaqan Najeeb told a private television channel that that Pakistan will get oil on deferred payment from Saudi Arabia worth 250 million dollars monthly. The spokesperson said that all is set to sign the agreement to get oil of 3 billion dollars on deferred payment during the visit of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. He said Pakistan has already received 3 billion dollars for balance of payment.  Ten MoUs including one on a 10 billion dollar oil refinery in Gwadar and petrochemical complex in Gwadar with be signed with the Saudi Government during the visit of Saudi Crown Prince. The Saudi side has indicated that the capacity of proposed oil refinery will be between 250,000-300,000 bpd (11-13 million tons per annum). Saudi Arabia has also shown interest in Pakistan’s mines, minerals, fertilizers, phosphate and LNG storage capacity. It has expressed strong interest in exploring investment opportunities in Pakistan’s Petrochemical sector which was termed as a ‘game changer’ and would result in savings of 1.2 billion dollars per annum in import substitution. Eight other MoUs will also be signed, including in sectors like, mineral development, renewable energy resources, drug control and its smuggling, youth and sports, combating crime and cultural cooperation.